Opening for all Gatherings


(To be read aloud at the start of each session)

1. I wish to acknowledge that we are on the original lands of the Anishinaabe, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.

2. Following the presentation of the topic for today, a general discussion will follow with each of you being given an opportunity to speak to the issue. You are encouraged to keep in mind seven sacred teachings of the Anishinaabe in your thoughts and words.

3. (The Seven Sacred Teachings are then to be read aloud by one of the participants)

LOVE: it is important to care for one another
HONESTY: better to fail with honesty than succeed by fraud
RESPECT: give it, earn it, receive it.
TRUTH: it is always easiest to speak the truth
HUMILITY: to be humble about your accomplishments is to be strong
COURAGE: let nothing stand in the way of doing the right thing
WISDOM: with hard work and dedication will come knowledge

4. Sharing around the circle, clockwise is recommended. Should you wish to “pass” at that time, you will be given a chance at the end to offer your thoughts. While you may not wish to speak at all on a given week, your participation is desired as each individual has gifts to offer the circle.

5. An item, such as a talking stick, will be passed around giving each person a chance to speak. Speak on behalf of yourself only and speak what comes from your heart and from your own experience.

6. It is very important that we all recognize that the feelings of an individual are neither right nor wrong. They are real and need to be respected.

7. In accordance with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, the four guiding principles for the new relationship are “mutual recognition, mutual respect, sharing, and mutual responsibility.” (Interim Report, page 23)

8. We ask you to be conscious of your sharing time so that everyone has a chance to participate.